New England Clam Chowder is hands down one of my favorite soups. Being that is one of my faves, I am very picky about the color, texture, and flavor of the soup. If it doesn’t look right or is the wrong color, I won’t eat it. Since I don’t get to visit my hometown in Connecticut too much, I decided to try and find the perfect recipe so I could enjoy the soup as often as I wanted. The first time I tried, I wasn’t happy with the flavor. Something was missing, so I tried again a few more times and finally, I was able to develop something I was proud to share.
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup clam juice
- 2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 6.5-oz cans minced clams, including juice
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon becomes crispy, around 4-5 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Blot off excess grease and set aside.
Drain and discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from pot before adding onion, carrots, and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and sauté until soft, around 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
Add the clam juice, milk, and heavy cream, and whisk until combined. Add the potatoes, Old Bay seasoning, fresh thyme and 2/3 of the cooked bacon crumbles. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired, and stir to combine.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, then immediately reduce heat to a medium-low. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 15 minutes.
Once the potatoes are cooked, add clams and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until the clams are heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Remove from heat and serve immediately topped with remaining bacon crumbles and fresh parsley, if desired.
I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do. After the soup is done, I love to add pepper. Clam chowder isn’t quite right unless you add pepper on top. I love a lot of pepper, but season to your liking and enjoy!